October 15, 2007
Ms. Carrie Bailey from the Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center was present to brief the Council on a program for flood victims called Flood Recovery Partners. It is an outreach program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is a free service to all that take advantage of it.
Mr. Bradley Peterson of the law firm Flaherty & Hood, who represent the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, was present to talk to the Council about the advantages to the City of becoming a member. The Coalition currently has a membership of 68 cities all around the state. He indicated Goodview was a member of the Coalition until 2003. Mr. Peterson pointed out the direction and policies of the group are set by its members. The group, which depends greatly on its lobbying of legislators, sponsors its own legislation for the good of the majority of its membership. The five areas they mostly deal in are: Local Government Aid (LGA)/Property Tax Relief, Annexation, Economic Development, Environment, and Transportation. On staff they have specialized individuals for media relations and policy analysis. He informed the Council the dues for 2008 would be $4,684, and if the City joined now, the rest of 2007 would be free. Mayor Weimerskirch expressed to the Council that he doesn't know if we can afford not to be a member, because of the increased number of special interest groups at the legislature every year. Councilmember Bowman asked how the Coalition gathers information on each member city, of which Mr. Peterson indicated various sources including committees, conferences, phone calls, and e-mails. The Mayor suggested, and the Council concurred, the City send the City Administrator, Dan Matejka, to the Coalition's fall conference in Alexandria, November 7-9. The registration fee has been waived for potential new members, so the only costs to the City would be for transportation and lodging.
Consent Agenda: Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to have pay estimate #4 eliminated from the Consent Agenda, and be its own action item. All voted aye, motion carried. Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the Consent Agenda as amended. The agenda included the minutes of the October 1, 2007 regular meeting of the Goodview City Council. It also included claims in the total amount of $461,112.64 for the following operating funds:
General Fund $156,422.10
Revolving Projects Fund 8,468.88
2007 Street & Utility Impr. 218,444.75
Water Service Fund 63,860.24
Sewer Service Fund 13,916.67
Councilmember Ledebuhr questioned the minutes in respect to there being no reference to Xcel Energy voicing concerns about noise and lights and the construction of the proposed apartment complex. Language will be added to the minutes to reflect these concerns. All voted aye, motion carried.
Councilmember Ledebuhr moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve Pay Estimate #4 for the 2007 Utility and Street Improvement Project of $151,811.41. Councilmember Brinkman abstained from the vote, but all others voted aye. Motion carried.
Councilmember Brinkman commented on how quickly the four-way stop signs at the intersections of 41st Avenue and Sixth Street, and 54th Avenue and Sixth Street, and the stop lights at Highway 61 and 54th Avenue went down after the Pelzer Street project was completed. Deputy Police Chief Kent Russell informed the Council there has been one accident at 54th Avenue and Sixth Street since the stop signs have been taken down. Greg Volkart, Director of Public Works, indicated the City of Winona was responsible for notification of the removals since it was their project. Mayor Weimerskirch reviewed with Council a meeting he and the City Administrator participated in with the Mayor of Roseau, Minnesota. The meeting was organized by State Representatives Tim Walz and Colin Peterson. The cities of Stockton, Minnesota City, St. Charles, and Elba were also in attendance. The point of the meeting was to have the Roseau Mayor review with the group what they did after their flood of 2002.
The City Administrator reviewed the spreadsheet showing the total to date of waived water and sewer billings for homes/businesses affected by the flood.
Mr. Matejka also brought the Council up-to-date on the status of the Water Resources Development Act bill in Washington D.C., which contains Goodview's request for $3 million to be used for the water treatment plants the City needs to build. He indicated the bill did pass both Houses of Congress, and is now sitting on the leadership desk awaiting an appropriate time to be presented to the President when approval by the President is a very good possibility. He pointed out the City cannot get the Army Corp of Engineers involved yet until the funding is approved. Councilmember Brinkman suggested the City contact the consulting firm (Wynn Consulting) which Roseau has used to help find potentially un-spent state funds for projects.
The mayor reviewed the letter from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and pointed out it dictates exactly what the City's intentions were concerning testing of both lakes again in the spring of 2008. He stressed the cooperation between the City and the MPCA has been exemplary through out this whole process.
The City Administrator provided a summary of the status of the Safe Routes to School Grant in which the City is working with the engineering company of Yaggy Colby & Associates from Rochester. Mr. Matejka indicated he, Greg Volkart, Chief of Police LaVern Hauschildt, and Judy Casper of Goodview School met with Christina Peterson of Yaggy Colby and prioritized four different options of sidewalks to apply for through the grant. The first would install sidewalks on the west side of 44th Avenue from Sixth Street to Eighth Street, and then on the south side of Eighth Street west to connect with the walking path around Goodview School just west of 49th Avenue. The second option was to connect the existing path around LaCanne Park with the school by installing a sidewalk on the south side of 9th Street from the school to the path down near the Lake Side Manor Apartments. Option three included the re-surfacing of the walking track around Goodview School. Finally the fourth prioritized option involved installing a short sidewalk on the west side of 51st Avenue from the school path to the intersection of 51st Avenue and 7th Place. Councilmember Ledebuhr questioned if there will be enough space in the City's right-of-way on the south side of Eighth Street. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to proceed with writing the grant asking for options 1, 2, and one-half of 3, with the understanding of asking the School District to fund the other half of option 3. Councilmember Bowman pointed out if this project is successful, the City will need to create a sidewalk ordinance. Mayor Weimerskirch abstained, but the other four members voted aye. The motion carried.
Mr. Volkart presented the Council with updated sketches of the two new proposed water treatment buildings. The only item added since the previous plan is the addition of bathroom facilities in both plants. He said the costs of all the materials have gone up considerably. He also pointed out he believes the City Engineer is including more for contingency and engineering costs than on other City projects, thus those figures could be overstated by as much as $500,000. Mr. Volkart recommended the City proceed with the process of bidding the project, so more concrete numbers could be obtained. The Council agreed with the Director's recommendation, but also suggested the City talk with the State Department of Health about the possible delay in federal funding to see if the deadline for the project could be pushed back some.
City Administrator Dan Matejka informed the Council that the Deferred Assessment Committee met, and is recommending the special assessments imposed on Parcel No. 24.130.0160 in the Woodhaven I Estates sub-division for the 2007 Street and Utility Improvement Project be denied. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to deny the deferment. Councilmember Brinkman abstained, but all others voted aye. Motion carried.
Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded that RESOLUTION NO. 0770, A RESOLUTION ACKNOWLEDGING THE DONATION FROM THE PRAIRIE ISLAND TRIBAL COUNCIL, be adopted. All voted aye. The Resolution was declared adopted.
Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded that RESOLUTION NO. 0771, A RESOLUTION ACKNOWLEDGING THE DONATION FROM THE TREASURE ISLAND RESORT & CASINO, be adopted. All voted aye. The Resolution was declared adopted.
Mr. Arlan Runningen and Mr. Brent Bailey were present to voice some concerns they have with the utility and street project taking place in the Woodhaven I Estates sub-division. Their first item dealt with two concrete driveway approaches not being flared when they were originally flared. The City Administrator told the group the project plans are being followed, but certainly an error could have occurred. Councilmember Ledebuhr asked the Director of Public Works to look at the situation, and if he determines it is in error it should be corrected. Item number two was about grass seed being used and not sod. Mr. Matejka informed the group this was a rumor going around, and it wasn't true. Mr. Volkart indicated the only place seed will be used is in the city park. Concern number three had to do with the curb which was installed on the south side of the east end of Woodland Boulevard, and why was it installed. Mr. Volkart indicated this was installed to help control run-off. Mr. Runningen believes, per the City's assessment policy, all this cost should be the City's. The Mayor and the Councilmembers agree that the policy is clear, and thus agree with Mr. Runningen. Finally, the residents want to make sure they have the opportunity to review all the incurred expenditures of the project when completed. The City Administrator indicated this will be done, and all the line items of materials will be reviewed to apply the agreed upon cost-sharing percentages negotiated at the beginning of the project. Otherwise, both Mr. Runningen and Mr. Bailey expressed their satisfaction with the over-all project, and the contractor. Councilmember Ledebuhr questioned when residents could begin to hook-up to City water and sewer. Mr. Volkart informed the Council this probably could begin to occur in two to three weeks.
Councilmember Bowman expressed his thoughts the Council should conduct a formal evaluation of the City Administrator since it has been about 13 months since Mr. Matejka was originally employed, and it would be good business practice. The Mayor agrees, but wants to make sure evaluations are done through out the City. Mr. Matejka explained what his experiences are concerning evaluations of his superiors in his previous employment at the LaCrescent-Hokah School District. Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to have Councilmembers Bowman and Ledebuhr create the review process to be used. Councilmember Bowman indicated there is no sense in re-inventing the wheel, and believes the City Administrator should research and present a couple different options to the Council since he has some experience with the topic. The motion failed by a two to three vote, with Councilmembers Brinkman and Andring voting aye, and Mayor Weimerskirch and Councilmembers Bowman and Ledebuhr voting nay. The Mayor directed the Administrator to present an outline and protocol of the method to be used.
Councilmember Bowman asked for an update on making the entrance into the new Police Department handicap accessible. Mr. Matejka told the Council an update will be presented to them at a meeting in the near future.
Councilmember Bowman questioned the status of the Nuisance Ordinance. City Administrator Matejka informed the Council that City Attorney Ron Benson is reviewing the ordinance, and Mr. Matejka will bring an update to the Council at the next regular meeting on Monday, November 5, 2007.
Councilmember Ledebuhr indicated he wants to re-visit the concept of the City employing a Building Inspector in some capacity. Mayor Weimerskirch reviewed with the Council that the City recognizes the State Building Code, and all contractors who acquire a building permit from the City are to follow that code, but it is the builder's responsibility to call in the State Building Inspector for final approvals. The City Administrator indicated he has not had any follow-up conversations with Winona County about the possibility of a cost-share agreement to help fund the creation of a county-wide inspector.
Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to adjourn. All voted aye, motion carried.
Adjournment at 7:03 p.m.